The Line – a shared history deeply soaked in place, land and memory

The Line is a story of segregation, confinement, abandonment and cross-racial relationships loosely-set in the 1930s in Perth. Co-created by Artistic Director Raewyn Hill and Co:3 Australia Associate Artist Mark Howett this powerful dance-theatre work draws on the rich history that resulted from the enforcement of the prohibited areas for Aboriginal people in the City of Perth and other areas of Western Australian between 1927 and 1954.

On 18 March 1927, the Governor of Western Australia relied on the 1905 Act to declare the City of Perth a Prohibited Area for Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people now committed an offence if they came within a boundary of approximately five square kilometres encompassing the city, unless they could show they were in ‘lawful employment’. In an attempt to discourage ‘camp natives’ from loitering, Chief Protector of Aboriginals, AO Neville, introduced a special ‘native pass’ to allow those Aboriginal people who had ‘legitimate reason’ to pass through the city.

During one of their regular Co:3 collaborations Mark Howett relayed the story of the Prohibited Area to Raewyn Hill. They realised there was an opportunity for Co:3 to bring to life an important local story, reflective of national and international experiences of racial segregation.

The Line also includes references to White City, a notorious entertainment area behind the Supreme Court Gardens, featuring swings, games of chance, boxing, log chopping, bands, canned music and dancing. It was popular with Perth’s indigenous people as well as the white population and considered a ‘gambling blot’ on the whole state, a den of inequity, a magnet for larrikins and loafers and a terrible menace to the youth of the city.

The 1927 Prohibited Area declaration, compelling those indigenous people not on “lawful business” to leave the city, gave Neville the excuse he needed to control the movements of Aborigines in White City and the Prohibited Areas.

Howett and Hill along with Co:3 dancers Andrew Searle and Katherine Gurr and Guest Artist, Noongar dancer, Ian Wilkes have researched the period together during the development of the work. They have drawn on information in the State Records; Stephen Kinnane’s family memoir ‘Shadow Lines’; and consulted with elders including Lynette Narkle, Richard Walley, Darryl Kickett and author Professor Anna Haebich.

Raewyn Hill said, “The Line began with us looking at the Prohibited Area, but the work initiates a global conversation about separation, segregation, and social expectations. We discuss humanity, and the quality of being humane, privilege and trauma, truth and listening, and importantly The Line is an opportunity for us to acknowledging the history that lives in the veins of so many of us that reside in our glorious city. “

“I believe, that in order to grow one has to go through a journey of truth telling, and to do that there needs to be acknowledgment, recognition and compassion. It is crucial so that that we actually start having a conversation about healing and equality.”

Mark Howett said that what he finds intriguing are the parallels between the enforcement of the prohibited areas and recent State initiatives to protect indigenous youth. For instance, the 2003 curfew that gave police and community development officers authority to enforce powers under the Child Welfare Act to remove unaccompanied children and young people from Northbridge in Perth’s CBD after 10pm. These measures to keep youths off inner-city streets in Perth were slammed for unfairly singling out Aborigines.

The Line investigates a difficult and sensitive subject, the performance is imbued with Hill’s distinctive image and movement language, Howett’s impeccably directed story and song, alongside humour, sarcasm and comedy. Co3’s cast are joined on stage with live accompaniment by Co:3 Associate Artist and award-winning musician Eden Mulholland and internationally renowned classical accordionist, James Crabb.

The Line shifts and shudders with the strength of contemporary voice, consciously echoing with the energy and movement of an unjust and painful past. A living history, a line that connects to an experience of the local community that is deeply soaked into place, land and memory.

 

The Line

Dates: 15 – 19 May 2019

Venue: Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia

Performances: 15 ­– 18 May, 7:30pm; 19 May, 4pm

Tickets: Perth Theatre Trust  www.ptt.wa.gov.au $25-$55

 

Media Contact

Tracy Routledge tracy@trpr.com.au  or 0412 223 221

Renowned Japanese Architect sets the stage

His designs can be found throughout Japan and worldwide, and for the first-time renowned architect, Satoshi Okada, is making work for stage collaborating such Co3’s Artistic Director, Raewyn Hill, Okada’s large scale set piece will transform the Heath Ledger Theatre in September for THE ZONE.

Raewyn discovered Okada-san’s work over a decade ago, when drawn to the simplicity of form, and the importance of light within the design of his Mt Fuji House (2000). They eventually met in Tokyo 2012 when both their works were presented at the National Arts Centre, Tokyo. During Raewyn’s AsiaLink residency to the Tokyo Wondersite in 2016 she finally invited him to create the set for her new work, THE ZONE, a work about community.

Of Satoshi, Raewyn says:

“Satoshi Okada’s architectural work is breath taking in beauty and simplicity, and it is an honour that he has agreed to design the set for THE ZONE. This is Okada-san’s first foray into designing anything for stage, and I am deeply honoured to have the opportunity to work with him and his team.”

Raewyn has long been interested in the intersection of human movement with architecture. It can be argued that architecture is inherently social; it has no functionality unless humans interact with it, explore it, live in it. The same can be said for contemporary dance; it is a form that is embodied and requires a viewer to engage with it, and meaning can only be discovered through this engagement.

“For me, dance is the ultimate in figurative sculpture, an emotionally engaging, embodied language communicating through the magical third space between performer and viewer. As a creator, I seek to make the invisible visible, relying on the viewer actively engaging with my work and connecting to the emotionality represented in movement by the dancers.” Raewyn said.

With the support of Jonathan Lake at HASSELL architects, the set will be constructed at MosArts in Mosman Park for the duration of the rehearsal period before being installed at the Heath Ledger Theatre for the opening of THE ZONE that runs 7–16 September.

 

Tickets to THE ZONE can be purchased through Ticketek.

Can we work together to maximise the performance of both dancers and athletes?

From Dance Informa.

Improving performance fitness and stamina, preventing injury and decreasing recovery time is something professional athletes and dancers have in common. Co3, a flagship contemporary dance company in Perth, and the West Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS), have entered into an innovative partnership to maximise the performance of athletes and dancers. Dance Informa spoke with Sacha Fulton, physiologist at WAIS, and Co3 Executive Director Richard Longbottom to find out more.

Co3 dancers at WAIS. Photo by Emma Fishwick.

“Raewyn Hill, our artistic director, has always been interested in devising new ways of supporting the training and development of the dancers within the company,” Longbottom says. “The initial residency was around collaboration and exchange, giving our dancers exposure to some of the best training facilities, coaches and programs in the country. And as well, it was a chance for WAIS staff and athletes to see a contemporary dance company in action and to stimulate dialogue around the athleticism required of contemporary dancers. During the week, our dancers also had the opportunity to share some training with athletes, including time with the synchronised swimming team, the diving team, a swimming session and with the gymnastics squad.”

He adds, “We did have some exciting results from when our dancers joined in a session in the diving pool. One of our team had a bit of an interesting entry into the water. Not quite as smooth as it could have been.”

Longbottom says that dancers were impressed by WAIS, that it was clear that it was set up as a centre focused on the well-being of athletes. He says there were “amazing facilities, expert coaches, nutritionists and support teams. Everything was set up to maximise the potential of the athletes who trained there, in order for them to hone their skills necessary to compete at the highest level. The conversation continues around learning and sharing training methods, and performance preparation and psychology.”

Drawing on the scientific expertise gathered over many years at WAIS means the dance community may not have to duplicate research transferable from an athletic context to a dance context. There is potential for this collaboration to change daily practice and industry standards for training and supporting dancers.

Photo by Emma Fishwick.

“WAIS and Co3 see a bright future for this collaboration,” says Fulton. “In the future, Co3 dancers will attend WAIS on a weekly basis for a yoga session, which will also be opened up to all WAIS staff and athletes. In return, the Co3 dancers will be able to use some of the WAIS facilities, such as the Recovery Centre.”

Fulton continues, “The level of fun and enjoyment from both the Co3 dancers and the WAIS athletes was a pleasant surprise.”

The benefits of learning other forms of physical training to support your primary practice are well known; learning contrasting movement styles helps clarify each style or form. This collaboration between WAIS and Co3 sets the stage for other similar collaborations and knowledge sharing across the country.

 

For more information, visit Co3 at co3.org.au and West Australian Institute of Sport at www.wais.org.au

Images by Emma Fishwick.

Dance company director starts ‘art vs sport’ conversation

 

Co3 Artistic director Raewyn Hill started a conversation about “art vs sport” with the WA Institute of Sport (WAIS) last week.

Dancers from the King Street-based company, including Mitchell Harvey from Wembley Downs and Mt Lawley resident Zoe Wozniak, spent the week with WAIS athletes, divers, synchronised swimmers and gymnasts.

Ms Hill said she was passionate about the similarities between art and sport and how they could be integrated in to her dance program.

“What’s been amazing for the dancers is they’re beginning to understand and the concept makes more sense to them,” the Shenton Park resident said.

“Courage, determination, tenacity and discipline are all common to dancers and athletes.

“In some ways we can feel quite isolated so it’s been amazing for the dancers to be around the athletes and realise they’re similar sorts of people.”

Yoga is one form of training the two disciplines have in common.

Javelin throwers Luke Cann, of Floreat, and Cruz Hogan, of Kallaroo, have at least one yoga class a week.

Mr Hogan said dancing and throwing a javelin involved timing, getting in to position and finesse.

“We count in the back of our mind just not the same way dancers do,” he said.

Welcome our new developing artists for 2017

2017 will herald a year of growth for Co3 with the expansion of our stable of dancers. We are delighted to welcome two new City of Perth developing artists from LINK Dance Company, Tanya Brown and Antonio Rinaldi.

Both Tanya and Antonio worked with Raewyn Hill and the Company dancers last year in the creation of ‘the cry’. 2017 will see them grow under the guidance of Raewyn and perform in her new work ‘THE ZONE’ later in the year.

We thought we’d have a chat with Tanya and Antonio to let you get to know a bit more about our newest dancers.

 

How would you describe contemporary dance?

AR: Contemporary dance encompasses (almost) anything and everything in life. It is like the human condition 70% of the time. It is an art form- or as we’re constantly reminded, a lifestyle choice and that is utterly accurate. It is a lifestyle choice- one that is often as ambiguous or avant-garde or literal as it wants to be. It’s much the same as classical, but with different concepts here and there, perhaps a different outcome- maybe less extravagant in set design and costume, but maybe not.

TB: I find this one difficult to explain. To anyone down the street I say, it’s kind of the bare feet dance, that’s free and is a mix of everything, but then is it really that? It can be so many things. It is free. It can take you anywhere you are willing to go. Together, alone. Past, present, future. Memories, stories, histories.

 

What are some of the challenges involved with being a dancer?

AR: I find being malleable a monumental challenge. The ability to conform to and separate from, work with or work autonomously; to be a muse for your choreographer- even to your fellow dancers in the space- there is great responsibility in this. I’ve been stuck with something Raewyn Hill said to us once in the studio – that it was a sacred place and that’s how you must treat it.

TB: I think there is something powerful in being able to overcome all those challenges that come against us daily, in whatever you do. As a dancer we face long hours, which can lead to tiredness and fatigue, making body care crucial. Injury can happen in a blink of an eye sometimes. There can be a lack of resources, not getting paid much and people don’t always support your choice. You might need to work multiple jobs to sustain a living, or go searching travelling to find work. It’s not always accessible to a wide audience, you want to share it with people, but it can be hard to spread around. Competitiveness and ego can threaten the spirit of the dance. It can also sometimes be challenging to be so vulnerable and honest in front of people all the time.

 

How would you describe your time with Co3 so far?

AR: What was most wonderful to me was the ability to be implicated into a re-mounting of a previous work – and see the growth from that point onwards. It was a stunning progression to watch – the dancers were awe-inspiring in their demeanours and their character strengths, though it was a real luxury to watch an artistic director in all her idiosyncrasy because I have such a concentrated keenness for choreographing.

TB: It’s really just beginning! How exciting!

 

What do you love most about contemporary dance?

AR: It depends entirely on the day and the mood I’m in. Some days, I come to the studio- and I have such a real adulation for my fellow dancers – I get all geeked out watching somebody flick an arm or roll around making wild animal noises while assuming the role of an incapacitated entity – (I’m odd that way) or whatever it is they’re doing in the moment. I think I even begin to smile or tilt my head down like I’m possessed; I’ve been called out on it many a time. Other days, when matters don’t run as smoothly, it’s a little more difficult to find that stillness within yourself. Honestly, the chance to just have a groove and get down sometimes is really all the soul food you need- chuck on some old Motown and boogie yourself to culmination.

TB: How it connects people, empowers people, frees people, challenges people and inspires people. How it can be anything from spinning around on the kitchen floor, moving on stage in front of thousands and you could hear a pin drop, to a bunch of all ages moving together as one.

 

Catch both of our new developing artists in Raewyn Hill’s ‘THE ZONE’ later this year. Two-show and single tickets are now on sale for ‘Frank Enstein’ and ‘THE ZONE’ – BOOK NOW!

Co3’s developing artist program is proudly supported by the City of Perth.

2017 – a year of growth and partnership

The first 18 months of Co3 Australia, WA’s flagship contemporary dance company, has delivered opportunities for artists and audiences to further grow contemporary dance in Western Australia. In this short time, the company has engaged over 100 artists and attracted more than 16,000 people to the artistic and engagement programs.

 

Reflecting on Co3 Australia’s first full program in 2016 Artistic Director Raewyn Hill says: “2016 was such a massive year for this little company. I am constantly in awe of the commitment and dedication of the team around me from our small admin team to the Company artists and the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth ensemble members. I’m so proud to be the founding Artistic Director of Co3 and in a year where I presented my first full length work for the Company, and our Youth present their own performance season at the Dolphin Theatre, we are ready to take 2017 head on and continue to offer a full program for dancers and dance lovers of all ages.”

 

2017 will be Co3’s second full artistic program, with a focus on partnerships in creating and presenting new works, we continue to lay the foundations for opportunities to engage with dance in Perth and beyond. Company dancers will be split across a variety of projects and we invite local, national and international artists into the Co3 creative team.

 

As resident company at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Co3 will be presenting two new works in 2017. The Company partners with The Farm Directors Gavin Webber and Grayson Millwood on Frank Enstein, a new work that will have its world premiere at the 2017 Bleach* Festival on the Gold Coast, before heading to Perth for a public and schools season. With a cast of Co3 dancers and The Farm collaborators, Frank Enstein is a retelling of the classic tale for children and adults – magical dance-theatre illuminating a path to self-acceptance. This is theatre as if made by Michel Gondry, handcrafted and full of the love of old fashioned techniques.

 

In September, Co3 returns to the Health Ledger Theatre with THE ZONE, an explosive dance work that explores the notion of community forming in extraordinary circumstances. Profound yet playful, the performance chronicles the creation of community told through Hill’s stunning movement language. Artistic Director and choreographer Raewyn Hill will be joined again by music collaborator Eden Mulholland to play the live score, and world renowned Japanese architect Satoshi Okada will join the creative team as set designer.

 

Of the mainstage artistic program, Artistic Director Raewyn Hill says: “In Co3’s second annual program we continue to explore partnerships and welcome some of the best makers and artists from around the world. Following on from an Asialink residency to Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo in mid 2016, I am thrilled to be working with the incomparable architect Satoshi Okada for my next full length work, THE ZONE. As Co3 continues to grow, these collaborations and partnerships allow the company to not only bring some of the world most renowned artists to Perth but gives us flexiblity in our artistic presentations each year”.

 

2017 will see the continuation of Reason for Being, a partnership with the Art Gallery of Western Australia. This residency has been popular with visitors to the gallery this year with more than 5,000 people visiting the gallery view the company in action and engage with the creative process along the way. The first Reason for Being in 2017 will be in February and throughout the year Raewyn will invite several WA artists to join her in the development of work in response to the Sate Collection and the architecture of the building.

 

Co3 is excited to be collaborating with Sydney Dance Company on a new work made especially for Primary-school-aged children. This collaboration with Sydney Dance Company, Crazy Times by the brilliant choreographer Anthony Hamilton and dramaturg Matthew Whittet, will premiere in March at the Sydney Opera House, with a Perth and regional Western Australian season to be announced in early 2017.

 

Also in 2017, Co3 invites the prolific WA artist and dance maker, Chrissie Parrott to the Co3 artistic family to develop her most recent work, Elk. “I am passionate about creating an ongoing opportunity to support WA artists to develop a new work for the company,” says Raewyn Hill. “In 2017 Co3 launches Co: Lab as a way to begin to support choreographic voices of the local independent dance community in Perth. We also welcome the inaugural Co:Lab artist Tyrone Robinson to the Co3 family in early 2017.”

 

This nurturing is again reflected in the strengthening of the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble, the centrepiece of the company’s community engagement program. The Act-Belong- Commit Co:Youth ensemble offers 60 young dancers regular training and development and have three performance outcomes next year including a new co presentation with companies LINK and Tracksuit. In 2016 the Elite Training Squad was introduced and was offered to 20 of the most promising young dancers with a focus on technical development, strength and conditioning.

 

The company’s community engagement program in 2017 with a remounted tour of Paper Scissors Rocket! created by independent WA artists, UnKempt Dance, which will be performed alongside Barking Gecko Theatre Company’s presentation of Saltbush at the State Theatre Centre of WA in July.

 

For full program details, including the full community engagement program, see co3.org.au

 

2017 Program

Frank Enstein

Made by The Farm in collaboration with Co3 Australia

Presented by Co3 Australia, The Farm and Bleach* Festival

Wed 5-Sat 8 April, 7.30pm

Wed 5 April, 1pm (School Matinee)

Thurs 6 & Fri 7, 11am (School Matinees)

Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA Tickets from $25

THE ZONE

Thurs 7–Sat 16 September, 7.30pm

Fri 8, Tues 12, Thurs 14 September, 11am (School Matinees)

Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA Tickets from $40

TWO SHOW PACKAGE: Buy both Frank Enstein and THE ZONE and save! Premium $90 / A Reserve $80 / Concession $55

Single tickets on sale from 16 January All tickets available through Ticketek: ticketek.com.au

For all media enquiries, please contact: Georgia Malone, Marketing & Communications Manager

M 0411 100 340

E georgia@co3.org.au

 

www.facebook.com/Co3Australia

www.instagram.com/Co3Australia

www.twitter.com/Co3Australia

New music accentuates unique and inspiring dance in Co3’s the cry

In her first full length work for Co3 Australia, founding Artistic Director, Raewyn Hill, presents the cry, a work that exemplifies her signature choreographic style and is accompanied by a new score, performed live by composer and musician Eden Mulholland.

 

Presented as part of the MoveMe Festival, the cry is a work that highlights the richness of human existence. The premiere season at Heath Ledger Theatre at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, features six of the Co3 company members Kathryn Gurr, Mitch Harvey, Zachary Lopez, Talitha Maslin, Andrew Searle and Russell Thorpe.

 

Follow the characters as their energies and relationships ebb and flow throughout the cry, with sensitive duets siting alongside the uncompromising power of the group. Eden’s absorbing rhythms and captivating voice guide the viewer through the authenticity and humanity of Raewyn’s work. Expect the unexpected and be swept away and inspired.

 

Internationally commissioned, Raewyn is renowned for creating intricate and powerful dance, which is underpinned by an emotional intensity and in-depth research. Beyond the physical, there is also a philosophical language for delivery of movement that is exchanged between Raewyn and her dancers. Most recently, Raewyn’s choreography is influenced by time in Japan in 2016, with an incorporation of the seven principles of Bushido: rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, honesty, honour, and loyalty.

 

The cry includes the added element of live music for the premiere season and Co3 welcomes Raewyn’s long-time collaborator, Eden Mulholland to Perth to create a new score for the work. Eden has recently returned from a number of international gigs, including working on a new album in Los Angeles and composing for a solo dance performance in New Zealand.

 

For media enquiries, please contact Georgia Malone, Marketing and Communications Manager.

M 0411 100 340

E georgia@co3.org.au

 

www.facebook.com/Co3Australia

www.instagram.com/Co3Australia

www.twitter.com/Co3Australia